Jude Law has been tapped to play beloved Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them installment. Fans can’t be more happy with Warner Bros.’ announcement last Wednesday as Law is set to portray the headmaster in his earlier life as a transfiguration professor at Hogwarts.
Prior to Jude’s casting, the studio had considered other major British actors. According to Variety, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and Jared Harris were some of the stars considered to play the half-moon bespectacled wizard.
The two-time Oscar-nominated actor comes fresh from his performance as a modern head of the church in HBO’s The Young Pope. As Professor Albus Dumbledore, Law is expected to bring to life J.K. Rowling’s vision of the character as being gay. In 2007, the Harry Potter author hinted at Dumbledore’s openness to his sexuality. She also revealed that Dumbledore was in love with his best friend-turned-villain, Gellert Grindelwald.
“I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” J.K. Rowling said last year in a press conference for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.”
Law will be starring opposite Johnny Depp, who plays Grindelwald. It can be recalled that in the original Harry Potter novels, Dumbledore became a legend because he defeated the dark wizard. However, this was the headmaster’s darkest moment in his life, as Grindelwald was his childhood friend who shared his dream of establishing a world where wizards ruled over muggles “for the greater good.”
Unfortunately, a battle between the two former friends led to the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana. This scarred Albus, and he decided to reject Grindelwald’s misplaced ideals. In turn, Grindelwald’s greed for power turned him into the dark wizard that Albus eventually defeated in a duel.
More than knowing who would portray Dumbledore, though, Potter fans are more excited about seeing the romantic tension between Albus and Gellert. Since Rowling’s revelation of Dumbledore’s sexuality 10 years ago, fans have reread the books looking for clues they might have missed about this little revelation. It’s because the headmaster’s sexuality wasn’t explicitly indicated in the seven Harry Potter books.
The next question really, is whether Jude Law was the Dumbledore that Rowling had in mind. Last year, she had this to say.
“I have, of course, thought about this. I do have a name. I do have someone in mind, but I can’t say it. Because if that person doesn’t get cast, then the person who does get cast will blame me forever for having said it, won’t they? So, I’m going to keep quiet.”
But with the studio’s revelation that multiple British actors were considered, could Rowling have wanted someone else?
On the other hand, director David Yates praised the star’s work, saying, “Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him. I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”
Warner Bros. president and chief content officer, Toby Emmerich, sings high praises for Law as well.
“As fans ourselves, we are thrilled to have Jude Law joining the Fantastic Beasts cast, playing a character so universally adored,” Emmerich said. “Jude has been a member of the Warner Bros. family for years and we’re excited to embark on this new adventure with him.”
Fantastic Beasts 2 will begin production this summer and is expected to hit theaters on November 16, 2018. Eddie Redmayne will reprise his role as Newt Scamander, the magizoologist and author of the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was used by Harry Potter and the rest of the Hogwarts students 80 years later.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]